The surname PIELE was a locational name 'dweller at the peel' - from residence at a fortified house. Many old mansions still bear the name of 'the Peel ' in the north of England. Peel Castle in Furness is well known, and almost every old house in the dales was called a peel-house, built for securing the inhabitants in mediavel times. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey atte Pele of the County of Somerset in 1273. Ailwin Peele of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Roger Pele, parson of Dalton-in-Furness, County Lancashire in 1541. Robert Peel of Blackburn, Wills at Chester in 1577. An eminent member of the name was Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) the English statesman born near Bury in Lancashire. In 1811, he was appointed under-secretary for the colonies and from 1812 until 1818 was secretary for Ireland. As home secretary he reorganized the London Police Force, hence the name Peelers or Bobby's. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. The arms were registered at Peele Fold, County Lancaster and Trenant Park, County Cornwall, to Sir Robert of Drayton Manor who was created a bart. in 1800. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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